Panzer Pets, crossplatform Robot MMO
What is it?
Panzer Pets is a cross-platform MMO, in which you collect robot parts to build your own custom team of robots. With these robots you explore the world and battle hostile robots, through which you will earn more parts and have your robots increase in power. You have direct interaction with other players and are able to trade robot parts, battle against each-other, take part in tournaments and join a guild to undertake quests together.
If you're unable to create a mental image of what the game will be, think about a combination of Pokemon, Fallout, Scrapheap Challenge and Magic the Gathering. Panzer Pets combines the strategy and collectable aspect of a trading card game by allowing players to collect and trade robot parts, along with RPG aspects regarding the leveling and improving of the party of robots.
The game is being developed for iOS (both iPhone and iPad), PC, Mac and Android.
Who's creating it?
Panzer Pets is being developed by the dutch studio Gamundo, founded by former employees of the studio Virtual Fairground. In the past, the team has created the online game Club Galactik and worked on Hero World for a long time, which was an MMO based on the (Guitar) Hero franchise. Virtual Fairground went bankrupt last year, partially because Activision shut down the whole Hero franchise, which also cancelled Hero World. Ever since, the team quietly works on Panzer Pets, using the back-end technology from Club Galactik and Hero World.
What is unique about Panzer Pets?
- Robots in Panzer Pets are composed of different parts, each with their own abilities and statistics, which directly impact the functioning of the robot.
- It's a unique combination of trading-card elements and roleplaying elements. Collect and trade robot parts, assemble a team of powerful robots, and battle to improve the characteristics of the bots.
- Randomly generated dungeons and encounters, so the game never gets dull and boring.
- A real cross-platform MMO, all progress is saved on the server, so your robots are waiting for you regardless of the device you use to play.
- Direct interaction with other players. Chat, trade, challenges and tournament participation takes place in real time.
- It's possible to use the crafting system to upgrade the level of your items. Items found early in the game, can be taken all the way to endgame and still be a valid choice to put on your bots.
- Create a guild and build your guildhouse directly into the game world.
What is the current status?
The back-end is as good as done. The front-end team works hard to build a new client in Unity, since the client of Club Galactik and Hero World ran on Flash. The client development progresses well; a first prototype is working and the basic client-server communication has also been established. The art side is also working hard, but still hundreds of robot parts, animations and environments remain to be completed. There's also a lot of work to do on the user interface.
And now what?
Because Panzer Pet's development has been funded with a very tiny budget (pretty much: No budget), the development often slows down tremendously, as people have to take up paid jobs to pay their bills. That is why Gamundo launched a kickstarter campaign where you can back the project. With the raised money, the team van work full-time until release, and Panzer Pets could be released this fall.
Everything in Panzer Pets revolves around Robots. As new player, you start with just enough parts to build your first robot, but after that you will have to battle to find additional parts or loot enough money to purchase parts in town, or from other players.
Robot parts come in four flavors, initially. First, we have Cores. These make up the head of the robots and determines the base stats and level of your robot. Each core also has some traits that makes him really unique from other cores. To make your robot battle-ready, you need four more parts: Two arms, a torso and a set of legs. Each of these parts give a bonus or malus on the stats of the robot, and comes with an unique ability for your robot to use during battles.
As the level of your robot increases, which you can do through battling, more robot parts become available to you. At certain intervals, new slots will be unlocked for your robot, so you can outfit them with special parts like backpacks and shoulder pods.
You can bring a maximum of four robots into battle. The more parts you have, the more options you have when assembling your robots. Many abilities synergize with each other, not just on individual bots but also when deployed on team mates. That's where the trading card aspect kicks in, which elements will you combine into your play deck, and what will be your theme?
Every time your robots win a battle, they gain experience. When enough experience has accumulated, they gain a level. The experience and level is tied to the core of your robots. When the core attains a new level, the base-stats of the robot automatically increase, and the robot gains access to parts of a higher level.
Because the game revoleves around finding powerful combinations of parts, and not about being forced into cookie-cutter builds that always dominate, it was decided that players will be able to use the crafting system to increase the level of individual robot parts as well. Otherwise, you will constantly have to chase higher-level robot parts and remain with many parts which have become obsolete because your robots have leveled beyond their use. This way, that cool flamethrower you find at level 5 can be taken to the end-game if you wish.
Battles are turn-based. One of the cornerstones of the battle design is that the battles themself ar resolved quickly and smoothly without too much complexity, but without cutting down on the tactical choices players can make.
Robots take turns one at a time. The turn sequence depends on the speed-stat of a robot and the last ability that the robot used. Some attacks and abilities are faster than others, so it is possible that some bots get more turns than others.
When a robot gets the turn, it chooses one of the abilities it has access to, after which the ability is executed and the turn passes to the next robot.
Panzer Pets is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The people have retreated in safe settlements, and out there is the wilderness where rogue robots rove around. The former cities of mankind and the large underground military complexes are now firmly under control of these robots. As player, you will explore this world one part at a time, locate and visit other human settlements, and fight your way through cities and complexes in search of wealth and treasure in the form of cool new robot parts, money, crafting materials, and other shiny loot.
The world is a sort of nodal map, you unlock a node by defeating any hostile robots present or by completing related quests, which gives you access to the adjacent nodes. In addition to the overworld, the game features many diverse dungeons, in the form of abandoned cities, scrap heaps and military complexes. These dungeons are generated randomly each time you enter them, ensuring that the game remains fresh and challenging for a long time.
Free to Play
With the money raised from the kickstarter campaign, Gamundo plans to release the bulk of the game for free; as people paid for all this stuff in advance by backing Panzer Pets. There are no monthly fees, but to pay for the server costs and continued development of the game, Gamundo will sell virtual items. Gamundo explicitly stays clear of pay-to-win practises; free users will not be at a disadvantage when playing against paying users.
One of the perks of Kickstarter is that everyone that backs the project should be entitled to have a say in the development of the project. While we focus on core features of the game first, many additional features are not yet set in stone and will be prioritized based on the demands of the community.
Do you have any questions, comments or ideas? Please post and discuss it below! I look forward to hear what the iOS community has to say about this game.